The Cedar Project: Residential transience and HIV vulnerability among young Aboriginal people who use drugs

  • Jongbloed K
  • Thomas V
  • Pearce M
 et al. 
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Abstract

Aboriginal homelessness is considered to be a result of historic dispossession of traditional territories and forced displacement from community structures. Using data collected from 2005-2010 from the Cedar Project, a cohort of young Aboriginal people who use drugs in two Canadian cities, we examined how residential transience shapes HIV vulnerability. At baseline, 48 of 260 participants (18.5%) reported sleeping in six or more places ('highly transient') in the past six months. Generalized linear mixed models identified associations between high transience and sex and drug related HIV vulnerabilities. Transience was independently associated with sex work (AOR:3.52, 95%CI:2.06, 6.05); sexual assault (AOR:2.48, 95%CI:1.26, 4.86); injection drug use (AOR:4.54, 95%CI:2.71, 7.61); daily cocaine injection (AOR:2.16, 95%CI:1.26, 3.72); and public injection (AOR:2.87, 95%CI:1.65, 5.00). After stratification, transience and sexual vulnerability remained significantly associated among women but not men. Ensuring that young Aboriginal people have access to safe spaces to live, work, and inject must include policies addressing residential transience as well as the absence of a roof and walls.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aboriginal peoples
  • Drug use
  • HIV risk
  • Housing stability
  • Residential transience

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